After a few years in sales, you pick things up on what sets apart the good from the great. For Mike Margolis, Senior Sales Manager at EMC, he’s found three distinct traits to be important in getting ahead in sales. Work ethic, the capacity to connect with clients and the value you bring to a company are what he’s found to be key in becoming successful in a sales role. Having worked in various sales roles throughout his career, Mike fell into the field by chance, and has learned that to succeed in the b2b tech sales industry, you’ve got to really work for it, connect with customers, and bring something fresh to the table.
Throughout his time as an undergrad student at Boston University, Mike held multiple positions in the hospitality industry and through this found that he loved working and interacting with customers. Although he loved the people portion of his jobs, he planned to use his communications degree post grad to begin a career in the radio or tv industry. When this didn’t pan out for him he stuck with the hospitality industry until not long after graduation when he was approached by a local recruiting company to work for them. He took the opportunity and has never looked back. It was because of this risk he took that his career in sales even happened. In this recruiting role Mike learned the skills that set the foundation for his future career in b2b sales before he even knew it was where he was headed.
Before entering a sales career, Mike had used his past experience in the hospitality industry and recruiting to develop his people skills and set himself up for success; “It was through these jobs that I came out of my shell and broke down a barrier. I learned to speak with confidence...recruiting is like sales in the sense that you’re selling someone on why they should work for a company.” Through recruiting he learned how to connect with clients, something that today he recognizes as one of the most important skills anyone can have in sales. He also learned just what it took to succeed in this type of role: that you need to have the competitive drive and desire to succeed, and that with sales, you get out of it what you put into it.
Today, when he’s looking for the next generation of Business Development Representatives, Mike wants to see these traits in a candidate. And not only that they’re driven and ready to work hard but also that they’re able to connect on a personal level with customers, understand their needs and are able to provide solutions, not just sell products. These traits not only help candidates become great BDR’s but also bring value to the company and improve a team’s dynamic. “In sales, you’re going to be told no more than yes,” and because of this, he advises anyone going into sales to know their product and to always work harder than the rest. Getting shot down and not making the sale is part of the job, but by getting back up from it and pushing harder, working smarter and being persistent, the payoff will come in the end. This mind set and work ethic is what has gotten Mike to where he is today and is what he believes will help the next generation of sales reps to where they want to be.
Sales can be competitive and stressful with a steep learning curve, but taking this wisdom from someone with a strong, successful background in sales can make breaking into the field so much easier. Learn from other’s pasts, take their experiences and apply them to your own situation. By pushing to be the best in the room and always working hard, you’ll quickly see results, whether that’s a promotion or a raise, the potential is out there. If you’re willing to put in the effort and time and have the determination to do it, sales could be an excellent move for you.